Everything's different in the world of me

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 7 January 2018 17:30

Where to start with this one. A 120 Hawfinches? Australian Flu? The first airing of Season 3 of the Mighty Boosh some ten years ago? The Big Bang? Or maybe my first day back at work this year. Yes let's start there. I got to the boot of my car on the 2nd Jan and the whole car STUNK of fox. I was even more surprised when the smell had some how permeated into the car. I drove to work half expecting  the Crack Fox from the Mighty Boosh to be sitting on the back seat. This guy. Fortunately he wasn't.

I got back in the car at the end of the day and it STILL stank! I even called one of of my colleagues over and he was amazed at how bad it was. And it wasn't until the 6th that I realised what on (fox) earth was going on! But first we have to go back to the 30th Dec...

...I am recovering from what I now think is Australian Flu and having spent all of Christmas indoors I am itching to get out. I have some freelance work to do at Heyshott Down looking at bryophytes and I'm up there in a bit of a daze, it was way too soon to be back at work but you live and learn. I am seriously wrapped up and I only went out because it was 12 degrees. I have some new finger-less gloves. I'm head down mapping the stunning moss Rhodobryum roseum (which has spread on the site due to the management of the Murray Downland Trust) BUT I am continually distracted by calling Hawfinches. I had seen five at one point perched in the distance but it's so hard to ignore the call as I usually hear them so infrequently. 

Suddenly I look up and the sky is black with Hawfinches. A flock of some 45 birds flies over head and lands right in front of me. I lift my bins and can see a further 20 birds in the mid distance. I heard calling behind me and saw even more!!! Around 55 birds in the trees to the west. I did the math. 120 Hawfinches (and I believe that to be an underestimate). In all the excitement I began to overheat, now this is an important clue: I took my gloves off and put them in my big lower pockets in my combats. Exciting stuff. 

I head home at the end of the day feeling a little rough and spaced out. The next day as I was heading towards the pub for New Years and walked round the back of my car to cross the road I thought to myself "Someone's dropped a glove there that looks rather like one of my new gloves right outside the boot of my car" but the penny didn't drop. I carried on. Then a few days later I realised said glove was mine. It was soaking wet from all the 'rain' so I left it on my parcel shelf to dry off. Big mistake. Yesterday (6th Jan) I retrieved the glove to find it still soaking and then it hit me. Both the stench of fox scent glands at point blank range and the answer to the stinking car conundrum. The local foxes had been having their New Year's celebrations on my glove for days. What went on there we'll never know. Here is the offending article.

Now I know what you're thinking. "Nice hops". No I'm kidding. You're thinking "Why didn't you use 'fox glove' as a blog title?". Well that would have given it away right from the start. I have washed the fox glove now. It kind of now smells of a mix of part washing detergent and part greaty reduced fox musk, which is actually quite pleasant. I wonder though, what will my car will smell like tomorrow morning on my way to work?

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